An infrequently updated dumping ground for one culture junkie's thoughts on film and whatever else

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Yeah I didn't see this coming either

It breaks down like this:

1st season of "Chuck" = uneven, amusing diversion
2nd season of "Chuck" = one of the best things on TV right now.

I totally wrote this show off when it premiered because I was angry at the trend of giving handsome, charming actors some stammering dialogue and a pair of glasses (or pocket protector, in Chuck's case) and passing them off as "nerds." Turns out that was mostly just packaging, though, and a stupidly short-sighted reason not to give the show a chance. I've been sick the past week and, looking for something light and engaging to watch in my clogged-up stupor, I took my fave TV critic Alan Sepinwall up on his recommendation of this goofy spy-comedy.

In its outstanding second season, "Chuck" has realized the Platonic ideal that shows like "Veronica Mars" and "Reaper" have only been intermittently successful at: a perfectly balanced blend of outsized genre-geek storytelling and relatable human comedy. It's gotta be the most purely pleasurable series on the air right now. Its espionage plotting provides more credible action and thrills than any network drama, and its heavy doses of comedy provide more laughs than this season's soap-opera-ish episodes of "The Office." Adam Baldwin is especially hilarious as a terse, grunting, Reagan-worshipping NSA agent.

Until "Mad Men" comes back this summer, "Chuck" is my favorite show of the moment. No more snap judgments about TV programs!

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